Ricciardo warry of respect in contract talks
Daniel Ricciardo says he is being mindful that he doesn’t “disrespect anyone” at Red Bull as he looks at his options for his future in Formula One.
The Australian is yet to agree a new contract with the team for 2019, and has been linked to both Mercedes and Ferrari, who both have seats free. A move away from Red Bull, would be a big move because Ricciardo has been backed by the drinks giant for a decade.
In Melbourne, he was warned by Lewis Hamilton to avoid alienating his current team, something he was already aware of. Speaking to Motorsport.com, Ricciardo said, “Sure, I may have more than one option and it’s the first time and it’s exciting and it’s great – but I still want to go about it in the right way.”
“I don’t want to disrespect anyone or bag anyone. Maybe I do move on, but I’m not going to go and say ‘it’s because these guys are a bunch of this’.”
“Whatever I do, they [Red Bull] have done a lot for my career so it would feel wrong for me to speak badly about them in any kind of scenario.” He believes that that is just him but its important that he speaks his mind but remains respectful.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner says that the team are relaxed about his future, but he conceded that it will be a question he will be asked repeatedly asked about Ricciardo’s future.
Saying “It will run its course. We are relatively relaxed because we have got some great options available to us, so we want people… we want drivers that want to be in the team.”
Brawn “personally offended” by Marchionne
Formula One motorsport managing director Ross Brawn, says he was “personally offensive” when Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne accused him of dumbing down the sport.
In his role as director of motorsport, and technical director, the former Ferrari boss has been tasked with creating the next set of engine regulations. But his proposals for a new set of simplified engine regulations and a budget cap to help contain costs and make the sport more competitive, but has met resistance from Ferrari and Mercedes.
Speaking to a radio station in New Zealand, Brawn says the plans he has put forward have always had the good of the sport in mind. He said “It’s critical that we have a vision of where we see Formula One,” he said. “I find it very frustrating when people accuse us of spoiling the DNA of this, that or the other.”
“F1 has a long history of incredible competition, and it’s the pinnacle of motorsport and why would we choose to damage that? I find it personally offensive when people accuse me of dumbing down the sport because we know if we did that we’d spoil the sport at its core, and we’d spoil the commercial basis of the sport as well”
Brawn says that the top teams need to realise that for the future of the sport you need a rebalancing of commercial revenues and what they are allowed to do technically. He claims the teams largely agree on the technical regulations beyond 2021 but says politics has the potential to get in the way.
“There are always vested interests, and it’s not just a simple technical problem, we have the political problem of what is the governance going forward?”
Sauber appoint Monchaux as head of aerodynamics
Sauber has announced the former Toyota, Ferrari and Audi Aerodynamic engineer Jan Monchaux is to join the Swiss team as head of aerodynamics.
The Franco-German studied at the French aeronautical and space institution Supaere and latterly Imperial College. His F1 career began with Toyota in 2002 where he became project lead in aerodynamics before they withdrew in 2009.
He then joined Ferrari as senior concept aerodynamicist, later becoming team leader, aerodynamics. Monchaux left Maranello to join Audi Sport in January 2013, where he held the role of head of vehicle engineering and aerodynamics.
Technical director Jorg Zander, said “I’m very much looking forward to the arrival of Jan Monchaux as the new head of aerodynamics.”
“It marks an important step of a wider project that aims at strengthening and implementing the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 team in line with the targets and the results we want to achieve on tracks.!!
He replaces Nicolas Hennel de Beaupreau who is “taking over another role within the aerodynamics department,” a Sauber spokesperson told Motorsport.com.
Haas plans longer development of car
Haas is planning to develop there 2018 car for longer as they bid to end the inconsistencies the team has had during their first two seasons in Formula One.
The American team stopped developing its car last year to focus resources on this year’s car as the team has less resources than its rivals to dedicate to dual projects. Team boss Gunther Steiner said rule stability and a better baseline car meant “we plan to develop this car longer”.
Steiner told Motorsport.com “The regulations for next year don’t change. I know from last year to this year they changed very little, but I think we started a little bit with the car behind and we needed to make some big changes with the new car.”
“This year we make evolutions and what we do this year we’ll introduce to next year’s car. We’ll do that more on a normal timescale like the other teams.”
Haas’s biggest weakness over the last two seasons has been its inconsistencies across the season. Tackling those inconsistencies is one of the areas Steiner wants the team to improve on this season.
He said “We didn’t mature as much as we wanted from 2016 to 2017. It was up and down and we didn’t really know why. We got in the right direction but we needed time to fix that, and to fix that you need people and new processes.”
Romain Grosjean believes that the teams strong start to the season will not be another false dawn. “I know we’ve always been competitive in Melbourne,” he said. “But this year, knowing the baseline we’ve got, I think the philosophy is that we want to stay up there.
“To be in such a situation at the beginning of the season does give you hope that you can – and I believe we will try – to keep the development going” he added.
Sainz’s strange situation
Carlos Sainz says it’s a strange situation being on loan to Renault because its more common for a footballer than a Formula One driver. The Red Bull driver switched from Toro Rosso to Renault.
While that does not sound uncommon, it not normal for a big team to place one of its young drivers with another manufacturer. The deal was part of the deal switching Toro Rosso’s customer engine supply to McLaren.
Sainz told Autosport: “I’ve not heard of many drivers who are on loan, it’s more of a football term. It’s a bit of a strange situation, I’m a special case at the moment. That’s why I can’t let it get into my head.
“I need to just do what I was doing at Toro Rosso, having a good race every time I go out on track, and then things fall for themselves like it did at Toro Rosso.”
Red Bull retain an option to recall Sainz next year, if Daniel Ricciardo doesn’t sign a new deal, however, should that happen that would release Sainz from his Red Bull contract.
Teams go for softs for China
Pirelli has announced the driver’s tyre allocation for next weekends Chinese Grand Prix. For the race, the Italian manufacturer has chosen the harder end of the soft compounds with the soft and ultrasofts as well as the medium.
Both Mercedes have chosen six ultrasoft tyres, with Lewis Hamilton choosing six soft tyres and a medium, with Valtteri Bottas going for five softs and two mediums. Both Ferraris have chosen eight ultrasofts, three softs and two mediums.
Red Bull have also chosen the same for its drivers, with seven ultrasofts, four softs and two mediums. McLaren’s have eight ultrasofts, four softs and a medium. Renault’s have seven ultrasofts, four softs and two mediums.
Force India and have also followed the pattern, with there drivers having six ultrasofts, four softs and three mediums.
Williams has chosen eight ultrasofts for both drivers, but have varied the rest with Lance Stroll having three softs and two mediums. Teammate Sergey Sirotkin ha four softs and a medium. Toro Rosso has chosen seven ultrasofts for both drivers, but Pierre Gasly has four softs and two mediums while Brendon Hartley has five softs and a medium.
Haas have also varied selections with its drivers, they both have eight ultras, but Romain Grosjean has four softs and a hard. Kevin Magnussen has three softs and two mediums
Both Saubers have seven ultrasofts, with Marcus Ericsson going for four softs and two hards. His teammate Charles Leclerc has spilt the remaining selection to give him three of both the softs and mediums.